Chesterton Tribune



Lipinski wins rezoning for Dollar General store

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The Chesterton Town Council has approved the re-zone of the 1600 Broadway parcel owned by Tom Lipinski, paving the way for the development of a Dollar General there.

At their meeting Monday night, members voted unanimously to re-zone the parcel from I-1 to B-3.

Prior to the vote, Member Jim Ton, R-1st, emphasized that the matter before the council was not whether a Dollar General should be developed on the property but whether a B-3 zone is in the best interests of the neighborhood. “We’re here to consider a re-zone,” he said. “What may eventually go there is not before us.”

And, Ton concluded, B-3 is a more appropriate zone than I-1. “I have more concern if we don’t change the zoning of what might go in there,” he said. “We need to move out of industrial on Broadway. The west side needs some face-lifting.”

For his part, Member Emerson DeLaney, R-5th, said that he knocked on a lot of doors in the neighborhood and was interested to learn that of the folks he talked to only two opposed the Dollar General. Most do want one, he noted, while a “small minority don’t care.”

“I did my due diligence,” DeLaney added. “I walked the neighborhood.”

Earlier in the evening, Laurie Franke-Polz--former executive director of the Chesterton/Duneland Chamber of Commerce--read a prepared statement from a resident of the neighborhood, Cole Murray, who was unable to attend the council’s meeting.

“This business is not good,” Murray said in the statement. “They target low-income area with low-quality goods. There are two--two--other dollar stores just a couple of miles away. . . . So there’s no new or special offering here. There’s nothing unique that out-of-towners will Google our town for . . . . So we’re not talking about bringing in new money, we’re only hoping to recycle the same dollars for 50 people on the west end. . . . It seems like we’re just taking whatever comes our way. Literally anything, as if we’re that desperate for anyone interested in the town.”

Franke-Polz added her own views on that matter, namely, that she “would like to see our community diversify” the businesses on offer, that “residents on the west end want a grocery store,” and that she resents “having to go outside the community to maintain my basic lifestyle.”

Villages of Sand Creek

In other business, members voted unanimously to amend the planned unit development ordinance governing the Villages of Sand Creek, allowing the Villages of Sand Creek Home Owners Association to use $40,000 which for years has been held in escrow to expand a children’s play area located just north of Sawgrass Drive and east of Ballenisle Court.

The money had originally been intended to build walking trails, but for a number of reasons those trails were never developed.

The Advisory Plan Commission unanimously endorsed the PUD amendment at its October meeting following a public hearing.

Town Standard Waiver

Meanwhile, members voted unanimously to hold a public hearing at their next meeting, Tuesday, Nov. 12, on the petition of Jeff and Wendy Knarian for a waiver of the Town Standard requiring driveways to be a minimum of six feet from the property line.

The Knarians--residing at 502 Union Court--are seeking to widen their driveway to make for additional off-street parking, and the widened driveway would be only 1’ 8’’ from the property line.

The Knarians’ home is located in the rounded “knuckle” of Union Court, which means there’s no good place to park either their RV or visitors’ vehicles other than in front of the mailbox. But the USPS won’t deliver when the mailbox is blocked.



Posted 10/29/2019




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